Restorative Justice: Reconciliation of Society, the Victim and the Offender

1335 Words6 Pages
Nelson Mandela once said, “If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner”. This is essentially a main characteristic of restorative justice- to reconcile society, the victim and the offender- but also to rehabilitate the offender so that he is no longer an “enemy” of the criminal justice system. This form of justice is gaining support in South Africa; however there are limitations to this form of justice which also in turn limit its success in the future. Restorative justice alone is definitely not a method of justice which we can adopt but it may be possible that this form of justice can help if it is integrated into the criminal justice system. WHAT IS RESTORATIVE JUSTICE? In…show more content…
Restorative Justice aims to create a response to crime which respects the dignity and equality of each person, builds understanding and promotes social harmony, it addresses the needs of the victims as well as that of the offender, allows the offender to take responsibility for the wrong that was committed , allows the victim and society to be actively involved in the resolution process in the form of mediation, rehabilitates the offender and integrates the offender back into society by repairing the relationship between the offender and the community together with the victim. Restorative Justice vs. Retributive methods Whilst restorative justice focuses both on the offender and the victims needs simultaneously, retributive justice focuses on the offender and the punishment of the offender and the victim plays no role in the resolution process beyond that of testifying in court. Retributive justice focuses on punishment. The word punishment connotes to the word suffering and hence this is the point of punishment in retributive justice. The traditional method of corporal punishment was preferred as punishment was in the past seen as a sin and the purpose of punishing someone was to make them suffer- up until recently this
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